Tuesday, 2 September 2008

A Nicked Idea for Trees

There has not been a lot on the rule writing or painting fronts recently as I have been more actively engaged in changing my career path.
Aside from the real world, I am looking forward to Derby this year. I am unsure at the moment as to which 10mm army to get. Irregular (see link on left) and Pendraken do a fair range of Normans, Medievals and Arabs, so Russisans, Polish, Crusader or even Khwarizmians are all contenders. Magister Militum and Kallistra both are producing Mongols which will be worth a look at, while the former also has a decent looking Samurai range. Also need to get some siege stuff for the marauding Mongols and Chin. Got a rather grandiose idea for making a Russisan wooden walled city for a spectacular (hopefully) display game. You never know, the rules might get a playtest while I'm at it. 25
Wargamers today just don't know how good they've got it. Spoilt rotten for choice and scale whereas back in my day....yawn, yawn.
Also, in the larger scales, I could do with some 25mm Carthaginian cavalry for a previous project that ran out of steam a bit because I only had Numidian light cavalry.  This was an inherited army that's been sitting in the lead mountain for some years, thought I'd do something with it. So far well chuffed, conversions galore -head, arm, torso, swaps on mostly ooooollllldddd Mini Figs castings from the original Mac and Pune book by WRG. Numidian infantry, Carthaginian Citizen Spears, Gauls, Spanish etc, etc. All good stuff.
Whilst meandering through my bookmarked sites the other day I came across this little gem -http://www.matakishi.com/ironworkertrees.htm
The article was obviously geared towards 25mm trees but, as Eastern Europe was covered with vast swathes of pine forest, I wondered if the idea could work for 10mm as well to fit in with my latest venture. Several mugs of tea and seconds of serious thought later I came up with the following Baldrician style 'cunning plan'.
Use pan scourers (48p for a pack of 4) and wooden skewers (80p for a pack over about 50), both items available from a certain 5 lettered supermarket chain that begins with T -I should imagine the other chains have similar items at roughly the same prices.
The only variation to the original is that the plastic tops from 2ltr milk cartons are used as a temporary bases. (Aside. They can also be used for temporary painting bases for figures. Score them first and use a glue gun.) This is done by poking a hole in the centre of the top and pushing in a pre-cut, pre stained or painted, 80ish mm length of skewer. The scourers can be ripped in half lengthways or the basic scourer can be ripped apart into decreasingly sized cirles or ovals.
The cut or ripped pieces of scourer are pushed onto the skewer and wood glue is applied only to the top surface, with enough blobbed on to form a bond between the scourer and the skewer. The use of the carton tops holds the tree upright while the glue dries.
Once they are dry, they are trimmed into a pine tree shape and can be drybrushed in various highlighting colours such as a lighter green or shades of yellow. if required flock can be glued on by  dabbing blobs of wood glue around in a haphazard fashion. Alternatively,or by using a simple plastic plant spraypot, (mine came from H'base and cost less that £2.50), wood glue thinned 50-50 with water and sprayed on. The only problem with this is that the spray has no respect for anything else and you could end up with the trunk covered as well. The bottom line is, do what you think looks good. You can even have some of each for variety. At a pinch small blobs of glue on the edges and dipped in brown railway flock bits could show little cones. (Getting all anoracky now.)
Now that I know the system works I will try to publish some photos of said trees next time.
Another good win for the Irons on Saturday...with a little help from the third team of three on the park dressed in black. Paul Ince wasn't too chuffed but shame, as our friends across the pond are oft heard to say, 'What goes around, comes around'. In this game luck counts for a lot and wearing red instead of claret and blue before officially moving was not the best or luckiest of career moves. Long memories us WHU supporters.
And, while we are on the subject of footy, when are the press going to stop hounding Curbishley. West Ham finished reasonably well considering the abscence of major squad members last year, had the best start for a few this year and he's still got some of his best players to came back. What the hell happened to longevity in Hammers managers eh? Give the bloke some backing for crying out loud. Okay, maybe some of the derisory noises that were heard in the Carling Cup against Macclesfield were justified but without thinking too hard, in the past West Ham seem to have made a habit of going out to lower division sides and yet the manager still kept his job.

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